The Lord of the Rings Exposed - The Magic, Scrying Mirror and the "Palantir" Exposed

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Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I am writing this article about The Lord of the Rings to encourage you to seek God about this topic -- to seek God about what He wants you to know regarding The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books. Are they full of magic that real witches and wizards use, or are they just fantasy stories that are harmless? Is Gandalf, the wizard character, redeemable, or not?

We will focus on two items in this article that we will spend a little time looking at. Before we go there, I’d like to show you, briefly, how many times certain important words appear in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

“Magic” appears 18 Times in The Fellowship of the Ring.

The words “Magic”, “Magician,” and “Magical” appear 18 times in The Fellowship of the Ring. “Sorcerer” and “sorcery” each appear once. “Wizard” appears 58 times in the actual text of the story. The word “power” is often found in the context of magical power throughout the book. (I used a word search box on a pdf file to count these words for me.)

The Magic Mirror or Pool of Galadriel

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Galadriel, an elf lady, takes some people to view a magic pool. There, Samwise Gamgee (a hobbit) gazes into the magic pool and magically sees events happening far away (allegedly). Tolkien writes:

“Down a long flight of steps …. At the bottom, upon a low pedestal carved like a branching tree, stood a basin of silver, wide and shallow, and beside it stood a silver ewer.

With water from the stream Galadriel filled the basin to the brim, and breathed on it, and when the water was still again she spoke. `Here is the Mirror of Galadriel,' she said. 'I have brought you here so that you may look in it, if you will.'

.... 'What shall we look for, and what shall we see?' asked Frodo, filled with awe.

`Many things I can command the Mirror to reveal,' she answered, `and to some I can show what they desire to see. But the Mirror will also show things unbidden, … and more profitable than things which we wish to behold. …. For it shows things that were, and things that are, things that yet may be. …. Do you wish to look?'

Frodo did not answer.

`And you? ' she said, turning to Sam. 'For this is what your folk would call magic. I believe; though I do not understand clearly what they mean; and they seem also to use the same word of the deceits of the Enemy. But this, if you will, is the magic of Galadriel. Did you not say that you wished to see Elf-magic?'

'I did,' said Sam, trembling a little between fear and curiosity. `I'll have a peep, Lady, if you're willing.'

`And I'd not mind a glimpse of what's going on at home,' he said in an aside to Frodo. 'It seems a terrible long time that I've been away. ....'” [A.] [End quote]

Frodo then takes a look into the magic mirror. One vision he sees is of a future that pleases him. Another is of the “eye of Sauron,” which is lizard-like eye surrounded by flames. Frodo realizes that the mirror gave him the power to see his enemy trying to search for him. But, Frodo’s magic ring kept the dark wizard from seeing him. Also, Galadriel had a magic ring which kept Sauron from magically seeing her.

The magic pool or mirror of Galadriel is no different that a mirror for divination, or a scrying mirror (or pool). Scrying mirrors are sold online and in witchcraft shops. The practice of gazing into a magic mirror or pool is used for divination, or gaining hidden knowledge. God forbids divination in Deuteronomy 18 and throughout the Bible. God said through Moses: “There shall not be found among you any one that ... or that useth divination,....” (Deuteronomy 18:10).

But, divination is not only practiced and promoted in The Fellowship of the Ring. A crystal ball is used in The Two Towers.

The Crystal Ball (“Palantír” globe)

In The Two Towers, Gandalf obtained a crystal ball (called a “Palantir”) from a wizard’s tower (Isengard), after Gandalf had defeated Saruman, an “evil” wizard. Gandalf and his friends are travelling across the countryside. When night comes, Pippin (a hobbit) takes the crystal ball from Gandalf while the wizard is asleep. The hobbit gazes into its black depths until he sees images appearing. He hears a voice speaking to him, in his mind. It is Sauron, an “evil” wizard, who runs the evil country of Mordor.

Tolkien writes:

“Pippin sat with his knees drawn up and the ball between them. … He drew his cloak aside and gazed at it. .... At first the globe was dark, black as jet,

with the moonlight gleaming on its surface. Then there came a faint glow and stir in the heart of it, .... Soon all the inside seemed on fire; the ball was spinning, or the lights within were revolving. Suddenly the lights went out. He gave a gasp and struggled; but he remained bent, clasping the ball with both hands. ... Then with a strangled cry he fell back and lay still.” [B.] [End quote]

Hearing Pippin’s cry, Gandalf and the others awoke and asked the hobbit what he had seen. Pippin had some trouble responding coherently. But, eventually, he said:

“'I saw a dark sky, and tall battlements,' he said.

'And tiny stars. It seemed very far away and long ago, yet hard and clear.

Then the stars ...-they were cut off by things with wings. Very big, I think, really; but in the glass they looked like bats wheeling round the tower. I thought there were nine of them. One began to fly straight towards me, getting bigger and bigger. …

'...but ..., it disappeared. Then he [Sauron] came. He did not speak so that I could hear words. He just looked, and I understood.

"'So you have come back? Why have you neglected to report for so long?"

'I did not answer. He said: "Who are you?" I still did not answer, but it hurt me horribly; and he pressed me, so I said: "A hobbit."

'Then suddenly he seemed to see me, and he laughed at me. It was cruel.

It was like being stabbed with knives. I struggled. But he said: "Wait a moment! We shall meet again soon. Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send for it at once. Do you understand? Say just that!"

'Then he gloated over me. I felt I was falling to pieces. No, no! I

can't say any more. I don't remember anything else.'” [B.] [End quote]

This scene is disturbing because crystal balls (or scrying globes) are sold today online and in witchcraft stores. The black globe that J.R.R. Tolkien described in this fantasy novel is identical to a scrying globe, or crystal sphere.

The Scrying Mirror and Crystal Ball

Are Used in Witchcraft Today

An occult website speaks of scrying and explains how crystal balls are employed by the sorcerer:

“Scrying, also known as Crystal Gazing, Crystallomancy, Reading a Crystal Ball, and Visionary Reading is a divination technique used by psychic readers who are highly mediumistic and gifted in a way that enables them to perceive spiritual visions in their minds, rather like dreams or tiny movies. ...

“By focusing on an object such as a crystal ball, a crystal point, a mirror, a pool of black ink or water, ... the reader gains visionary insight during a divinatory trance. Some scryers see visions directly in the gazing globe or other shiny surface, others may see clouded, fractured, blurred, blackened, and partially obscured visions of the future or distant scenes.

[For scrying] a gazing globe, crystal, mirror, or reflective or randomly moving surface of some kind is essential to the divinatory process.” [End quote]

In Tolkien’s story, the black globe (“Palantir”) was only “harmful” to Pippin because it belonged to an “evil” wizard, Saruman, who had communicated with another “evil” wizard (Sauron) by way of the magic stone. Gandalf did not get rid of the stone. He kept it. Additionally, Gandalf was a “good” wizard. According to Tolkien, Gandalf used magic for “good” purposes (i.e. to help fight evil creatures). But, what does God’s Word say about wizards and divination (and crystal balls, scrying mirrors, etc.)? Let’s look at Deuteronomy 18.

Deuteronomy 18:9-13

“[9] When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. [10] There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. [11] Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

[12] For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. [13] Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.”

God is very clear what He thinks about witchcraft, magic, sorcery, wizards, divination, etc. -- they are together an abomination to Him. Why should Christians partake in such practices, in the form of entertainment, when God forbids such practices? Gandalf is a wizard. He is not a prophet of God. Is Gandalf a character we should look up to, when God forbids wizardry?

Getting to Know God as Our Best Friend Is the Answer to Our Spiritual Hunger.

God desires to have a personal, intimate relationship with each one of the people He created. Getting to know God as our best Friend is the answer to all of life's problems and is what living is truly all about. Jesus said in John 17:3: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

In Jeremiah 31:3, God said to both Jeremiah and us: “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

If you are coming here as a non-Christian, I encourage you to read this. God desires to have fellowship with you, as you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.



[A.] Tolkien, J.R.R. “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

[B.] Tolkien, J.R.R. “The Two Towers.”

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